“The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.” —Maimonedes
Have you ever had difficulty making good decisions? Have you struggled over “What’s the right thing to do?”
Did you know that your brain makes thousands of subconscious decisions each day, such as how to breathe, how to walk, how to blink your eye, etc.? Think about it—and then give yourself some credit for making so many decisions each day, each hour, each minute—and go easier on the bigger decisions that you need to address.
Often, we will turn to a spouse, a family member, or a friend to help us make a complex decision. Saying that makes it all sound so easy, but the truth is that from time to time we can get stuck and not know what the best route is. We end up agonizing over a decision. Trust me, I’ve been there—I fully understand the feeling.
With my coaching clients I advise creating a “Pros versus Cons” list to help them figure out their ideas and put their choices down on paper, so that they can truly see their options. Sometimes the answer is obvious, but often it’s not. In addition to listing specific pros and cons, you can rank order them by assigning priorities (for example, a “1 to 3” ranking). This simple method of organizing your concerns will help you determine what the best decisions are for you.
Of course, you always want to make the best decisions—and any decision can be a good decision. The only wrong decision is no decision at all! If you let time elapse and do nothing at all, and some action is taken on the matter at hand without your input, then that becomes a decision—and not a very good decision.
The more you practice decision-making, the better you will get. Right now, we’re in the midst of changing over from summer to fall and we need to make a decision about which warmer clothes to wear, or changeover our closets. Each moment we are constantly making a conscious or unconscious decision. I bet you’ve never thought about how many decisions we make each day.
So, cut yourself some slack. Sure, some issues are not easy to deal with. But again, you need to make choices. And when you do, people around you will respect you, and—perhaps most important of all, you will respect yourself.
Here’s how the decision-making process person worked out for one of my coaching clients—a person who was well-paid but unhappy with their current job. This client started doing their own consulting but burning the candle on both ends wasn’t fulfilling. As part of the coaching process, we evaluated needs and values, which led to looking into new opportunities. By supporting the client throughout the entire networking and search process, including mock interviews, a great new job possibility was discovered. Although there were many decisions made during the coaching process, the biggest decision came down to this: whether to accept the new job offer—which required relocating to a different city—or stay in place and build a new job.
The coaching worked. My client took the job and is now happily engaged in the new company—and has expressed gratitude for the coaching experience. Coaching provides a solid foundation and skill development to assist in making the decisions that keep people up at night.
You are capable of making smart decisions. I believe in you! Remember, making a choice is a good decision.